I appeal to you, brothers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment. (1 Corinthians 1)
An identifying marker of the church ought to be the way in which we stand firm as one united group of people no matter our race, nationality, age, gender or social status. We ought to be a people of one spirit with a shared mind striving side by side to take care of one another and to bring more of God’s rule here on earth.
Unfortunately, divisions have historically plagued the people of God. And sadly, great division still exists among us today.
In his first letter to the Corinthians, Paul urges them to agree and to not let divisions come among them. One of the problems that he was addressing was the way in which some people in Corinth were boasting about who had baptized them and who’s preaching they preferred best.
Do we not find ourselves doing the same thing today? Have we not turned modern-day servants of Christ into celebrity pastors and superstar Christians? Do we exalt our brand of Christianity over others because our preacher is more popular or because our worship band sells more albums? Or maybe we boast about how we’re not like these other churches and how we are more traditional or more like the first followers of Jesus or whatever else we come up with?
Our adversary prowls around like a predator seeking to divide and devour God’s people. And so, whenever our differences or our disagreements take the forefront of our Christian faith, we’ve played ourselves right into the adversary’s hand.
Why would a watching world want to be a part of a body of people that can’t get along and can’t even agree on what they believe?
A house divided against itself will not stand; but a house united in love and the truth of the gospel will find itself standing out.
May we take the words of the apostle Paul here seriously and begin to seek out unity among our brothers and sisters around us. Even if there is not unity in our opinions or preferences, we ought to still display a unity of love and affection.
Our first step towards unity is to put the primary focus back on the cornerstone of Christianity (Christ) and the foundation of our faith (the gospel).
Jesus is Lord, and God raised him from the dead. If we acknowledge this reality and swear our allegiance to him as Lord then we can be forgiven of our sin and restored into a right relationship with our Creator.
This is the common ground on which we stand. So lets make an effort to become a people known for the big essential things that we agree on instead of all the things that we’re against.